Monday, October 17, 2011

I've seen fire, and I've seen rain

So I mentioned in yesterday's post that J and I went out to the Athens Schoolhouse Antique Show on Saturday.  This is the same place where we found our "dining table" and our fireplace surround (which I mentioned buying in February 2009, but don't appear to have written a blog post about).  So anyhow, we went out to Athens without planning to buy anything in particular, but open to whatever might pop up.  What popped up, it turned out, were lots of umbrella stands!

Let me back up.  In the long-term MP plans (the ones that come after finishing our current projects and saving up to redo our kitchen, so clearly five or ten years down the road), J and I plan to annex our current coat closet for our kitchen.  I know what you're thinking--why would anyone take out a closet in an already closet-starved house?  Because the kitchen is also starving for storage space, and I'd love to have a built-in pantry.  And because, really, we don't wear ninety percent of the coats that we store in the closet, so it's obviously wasted space. Well then, you're thinking, what about the other ten percent of our coats?  To answer that question, you need to know a little about how our house is laid out.  To help, I've created a very rough sketch in MS Paint.  Now, this isn't to scale, and it is obviously missing a lot of information, but this will give you a pretty good idea what I'm talking about:

I've no idea if you can read the little writing in the middle, so basically the top drawing is "now" and the bottom drawing is "future".  The stairs to the second floor are in the center (left to right) of the house going up from the front of the house (bottom).  The closet in question faces the hallway between the kitchen and the living room.  We do not have a real entry because you walk in the front door right into the living room.  To get upstairs, you have to close the front door, step up once to a landing, then turn right and proceed up the stairs.  The landing is a pretty decent size and I have one of those decorator tables sitting in the corner with a lamp and a couple other things on it.  Way long term (probably before the kitchen but after all of the currently in-progress projects are done) I'm going to tear down the wall that separates the living room from the stairs. 

So my plan is to turn the landing into an entry area.  The decorator table will come out, and I'll put a coat rack on the wall to the left of the door (as you look at the picture above).  I've seen cool pictures where people screw antique doorknobs directly into the wall, but of course I can't find that now. Beneath the coats will be a tray for shoes/boots and an umbrella stand.  (Yay!, you're thinking, She finally worked this around to the antique show!

Yes, I decided to look for an umbrella stand.  We saw several copper or wood/copper stands that looked cool, but that weren't quite right.  The MP is pretty transitional in style, but our living room is very traditional and the overwhelmingly mission style stands just weren't clicking for me.  Besides that, these things are expensive!  (Who knew??)  Then, when we'd been through almost every booth at the show, J spotted it.

Here is what is so awesome about this stand:  first and foremost, the shape is perfect.  The lines of it completely mimic the lines of the mantel in the living room (see below).  The stand is 21 inches tall and about 7 inches across the main portion (the rim is about 9 inches across).

Second, this stand, unlike any of the others we saw Saturday, is brass.  We have a lots of brass/gold finishes in this room already, so this fits right in.  Finally, the price was right.  (Quite frankly, the price was right to start with, but I managed to negotiate it down a bit more.)  So we've got one piece of the entry finished.  I'll probably go ahead and work on that part of the project while we're saving up for the kitchen reno.  No sense in keeping the stand out of service!

Title:  In a throwback to our music lyrics titles, J suggested this one.  Can you guess why?  Anyhow, the song is Fire and Rain by James Taylor.

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